How should the Biden administration approach Africa?
Africa has not been a top strategic priority for the United States. While successive U.S. administrations have sought to advance health, trade, and energy initiatives, high-level U.S. attention toward the continent has often been limited to concerns about security, extremism, and migration flows. Under the Trump administration, the United States became narrowly preoccupied with China’s influence over a number of African states, while the Biden administration has largely been focused on the civil war in Ethiopia. During a recent visit, however, Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed hope the United States can build stronger relations, recognizing the continent’s vast economic potential and many promising trends.
On December 17, the Brookings Africa Security Initiative hosted an event to discuss how the Biden administration can set out a strategy to reframe American thinking about Africa from an overemphasis on U.S.-China competition, to broader engagement with Africans themselves on security issues.
DJ Switch’s remarks are her own personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for Democracy.
Viewers can submit questions via email to email@example.com or on Twitter using #USAfricaSecurity.
Michael E. O’Hanlon
Director of Research - Foreign Policy
Director - Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology
Co-Director - Africa Security Initiative
Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology
Philip H. Knight Chair in Defense and Strategy
Musician and activist
Fellow - National Endowment for Democracy
Gemima Neves Barlow
Deputy Regional Director, Southern and East Africa - National Democratic Institute
Senior Associate for Africa - National Democratic Institute
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